Aston Villa 0 Man Utd 1: Exciting line-up provides another false dawn

They obviously can’t be bothered, so neither can I. It was a positive line-up, but Utd never needed to get out of 1st gear. McLeish must be giving out his instructions in Russian or something because he’s managed to make some very capable players look like they haven’t the first clue what they’re doing.

Worryingly, Shay Given was carried off after his hamstring went shortly before half time. Brad Guzan didn’t have much to do, not really, but we’ll probably get

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Dunne and Given heading to Euro 2012, and Barry Bannan’s back, baby

The Euro 2012 play-offs are over and we now know all 16 teams who will be competing in Poland and Ukraine next summer. Barring any injury issues, there will definitely be some Villa interest as the Irish saw out their considerable advantage from the first leg against Estonia to book their place in the finals with a 1-1 draw in Dublin.

Just try to stop Shay Given and Richard Dunne getting on that plane.

The draw for the groups will take place

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Herd wins the plaudits, and a growing list of minor injuries

Chris Herd’s performances have rightly earned him quite a few headlines in the last couple of weeks. Initially for the wrong reason, but lately for the right ones.

Alex McLeish has said that he’s “a manager’s dream; the best trainer at the club”.

He will train the way he plays on Saturday by giving it absolutely everything. Herdy can improve technically if he keeps practising. There is no doubt in my mind that he has the desire.

Peter Grant has also talked about

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Getting back to business: A brief Euro 2012 round up from Villa’s perspective

The qualification for Euro 2012 is almost done. England will be in Poland and/or Ukraine next summer after comfortably finishing top of Group G, albeit by handing Motenegro an unlikely point and a place in the play-offs in the final game. Ireland also made it to the play-offs, and could be drawn against Montenegro, but Wales and Scotland miss out once again.

England: Ashley Young provided a rare headed finish to an even rarer superb delivery from Theo Walcott. Young then

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It’s the final countdown: Summer transfer roundup

It’s a little over 10 hours to go before the rumour mongers and speculation, erm, spasmos take themselves a much needed break. At least for a fortnight or so, then they’ll be back with a vengeance, leading all the way up to the perennially underwhelming January window.

Until then, I thought I’d summarise this summer’s movements to date, borrowing from the transfers page, and throw in anything that happens during the course of this afternoon and evening. And by that I

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One out, one in, one on the fence, one in the wings

So, Liverpool upped their offer to £20m, Stewart Downing handed in a formal transfer request and there’s not much more that needs saying. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Stewie. Textbook no-brainer.

That’s £8m more than we paid Middlesbrough two years ago, but represents a £14m profit in terms of “disposal of player’s registration”. Aside from the fact that we went from three wingers to two recently, and now to just the one, it still represents some

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